Illegal fishing disrupts fishermen's livelihood in former Somalia pirate hub
EYL, Somalia, May 17, 2015 (Garowe Online)-Fishermen in Northeastern Somalia coastal town and former pirate hub, Eyl are complaining about foreign trawlers proliferating at an alarming rate in the territorial waters, Garowe Online reports.
In an interview with Puntland-based independent station, Radio Garowe on Saturday, Eyl Mayor Musse Osman Yusuf warned of the consequences of overfishing off the coast of Eyl, saying it could spur fresh surge in piracy activities.
“The trawlers are increasing, and have posed challenges to the livelihoods of fishermen and depleted our marine resources,” Eyl Mayor told GO, adding that at least five foreign trawlers are in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
“Illegal fishing disrupted the economic activities of locals, and may drag many into illicit acts of piracy as a substitute,” warned Yusuf, referring to the unprecedented scale of overfishing.
Puntland’s Ministry for Fisheries officials previously pointed to the need for increased cooperation between the government and coastal communities on the regulation of catches made in territorial waters by foreign fishing vessels.
Last year, Puntland leader Abdiweli Mohamed Ali labeled illegal fishing a ‘national disaster’ that led to the loss of millions to foreign vessels.
In less than a year into office, former Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole cracked down on piracy activities, launching on-land raids and cleansing enclaves including Eyl of pirates.
Puntland granted phantom company, allegedly linked to Ali a license to guard territorial waters against intruding vessels.
Somalia’s 3300km coastline has been a coveted target for foreign trawlers since 1991 when armed opposition groups toppled the country’s long standing dictator, Mohamed Siyad Barre.